A Filipino Thanksgiving: 5 Creative Ways to Thank Your Loved Ones
Every fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States as a public and federal holiday—and more often than not, this tradition is filled with roasted turkeys and stuffed pies on the table. Thanksgiving may not be an official holiday in the Philippines—and we may not have as grandiose a tradition as Thanksgiving Day parades or Black Friday madness sales—but we Pinoys are no strangers to expressing our gratitude for all the blessings and for all our dear loved ones. Here are just some of the ways you can show your appreciation and love to celebrate a very Filipino Thanksgiving!
- A fine feast
It’s no secret that Pinoys love to eat, and if you’re itching to have your very own Filipino Thanksgiving, then gathering around the dining table is an absolute must. Without having to scour the country for a nice, plump turkey to serve up to the folks, you can add a local twist to the American holiday by making those dishes your own using local ingredients and cooking techniques.
Add some Philippine flavor to the time-honored occasion with a delectable fusion of tastes. Instead of turkey, you can cook up a storm with some roast chicken (lechon manok), chicken relleno, or—of course—the ever-timeless lechon or roasted pig. If you have the budget for it, you can also serve some pancit bihon, kaldereta, kare-kare, or crispy pata. You can even go for the classic Christmas hamon and queso de bola—after all, isn’t Christmas just around the corner? For more ideas on Filipino Thanksgiving recipes, check out this link HERE.
- Quality time
The best way to show your gratitude to your loved ones is to actually spend some quality time with them. When was the last time you had lunch with your Mom, played sports with your Dad, or took a leave from work to take your kids to the zoo? When was the last time you made the effort to commit to a schedule for a girls’ night out with your gal pals? With the wealth of outdoor and indoor activities in the metro these days—archery sessions, laser tag matches, spa dates, and so on—there’s no reason to skip out on genuine quality time together. Life is short, and giving thanks is a habit that you should learn to cultivate every single day. After all, is there an even better way to express your appreciation for your family and friends than by making lasting memories with them? You definitely can’t put a price tag on that.
- Sweets for your sweets
There’s a reason why the candy store is always packed during holidays and special occasions, and that’s because chocolates, cakes, pastries, and sweets will always have a special place in every person’s heart—no matter what their age may be. Instead of just buying your average run-of-the-mill chocolate bar though, you can spruce up your Filipino Thanksgiving by going for local delicacies like buko tarts, ube sprinkles, puto packs, macapuno balls, and the like. Include a little handwritten note—and throw in a silly pun while you’re at it—in the tag before you hand them off to your family and friends. They’ll surely feel warm and fuzzy inside, and even have a laugh or two along with it!
- Personalized handmade gifts
Short on cash? Go for gifts that are easy on the budget by creating your own handmade gifts. Nothing says “thank you” more sincerely than personalized gifts, whether these are diligently made paper crafts or intricate woodwork. There is a myriad of options available if you only take the time and effort, and these include polymer clay charms, hand-painted works of art, mason jar crafts, and the like. You can even take up short calligraphy classes or painting seminars and impress your friends with whatever you end up creating! While you’re at it, you can grab some ideas on customized gifts HERE.
- Fervent prayer
If there’s one thing that the Filipino people are undoubtedly committed to, it’s prayer and thanksgiving to the Creator. Countless cathedrals, processions, and religious festivals are all proof of how much Pinoys value their spiritual life, and perhaps the simplest way to express thanks is to offer up a small prayer for all the numerous blessings in life. Drop by your nearest church, gather together for some prayer meetings or Bible study groups, or simply light a candle to say thanks. Better yet, you can start each day by whispering a prayer of thanksgiving the moment you open your eyes. It just doesn’t get more Pinoy than that!